Christmas 2020 brand activations: Selfridges, Disney+ and more

2020 has seen an increase in digital Christmas experiences.

Disney+: gingerbread 'Home Alone' house
Disney+: gingerbread 'Home Alone' house

Pernod Ricard and John Lewis Partnership are among the brands that have chosen to activate this Christmas. So although Coca-Cola may have cancelled it's "Christmas truck tour" that doesn't mean the holidays aren't coming.

With England experiencing a tiered system after its second national lockdown, it is understandable that many events that have been launched have virtual elements. As the festive season continues the impact on any remaining Christmas experiences will be seen. 

Disney+ bakes ‘Home Alone’ gingerbread house

Streaming service Disney+ is celebrating 30 years since the release of Home Alone by recreating Kevin McCallister’s house in gingerbread form. The 1.7 metre festive scene. created by Michelle Wibowo. will go on display for paediatric patients at Oak Centre for Children and Young People at The Royal Marsden, Surrey. Taylor Herring delivered the project.

Selfridges opens Christmas market

Selfridges has opened an outdoor Christmas market with street food traders and traditional fairground rides. Visitors can shop from a range of small independent brands, winter accessories and Christmas toys. Selfridges is also hosting virtual Christmas events including video calls with Santa and card making with Poppy Chancellor.

Nordic Spirit opens winter-themed pop-up 

Nicotine brand Nordic Spirit is hosting a Scandinavian-style pop-up in Vauxhall, London. Guests can expect snow-covered pine trees, fire pits to roast marshmallows and light projections inspired by the Northern Lights. There will also be street food, cocktails, live entertainment and live sports screenings. The experience is being delivered by TRO. 

Elves Behavin' Badly Christmas tree stunt

Toy brand Elves Behavin' Badly has installed a 10-metre tall mechanical Christmas tree on the Southbank as part of a stunt that makes it appear to snap in half. The activity by Sketch was part of the brand's “Merry pranksmas” Christmas campaign that encourages families to be silly this season. 

Capital’s 'Jingle Bell Ball' with Barclaycard 

Global and Barclaycard will be broadcasting a two-hour Christmas party instead of the annual event. The show, which will be available on Global Player, Sky One, YouTube and on Capital radio, will feature Jingle Bell Ball performances from the past 12 years.

The Grey Goose 'Friendsmas feast' 

Grey Goose is hosting a Christmas cooking experience designed to be shared with friends. People can order “friendsmas feast” delivery kits that contain ingredients to make festive-themed cocktails and the three-course meal. Written instructions and a video tutorial from Giz ‘n’ Green (Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green) will help to guide the experience. All proceeds will be donated to Hospitality Action.

Guinness hosts beer-infused cook-along

Guinness will be delivering a beer-infused cook-along with the help of chef Robin Gill. Guests will be guided through the process of baking Guinness-infused Irish rarebit on homemade soda bread and two Guinness cocktails.

Pernod Ricard online experiences

Pernod Ricard plans to host 60 cocktail-making masterclasses in the run-up to Christmas, at which consumers will learn how to mix serves using brands from its portfolio. There will also be brand-led online experiences from Jameson, Monkey 47, Absolut and Perrier-Jouët. Activities include creating a gin-filled Christmas cracker and wreath-making.

Choose Love, Carnaby Street Christmas lights and pop-up

Refugee charity Choose Love has partnered Carnaby Street for its 2020 Christmas lights. The installation is made up of a series of lightboxes on which positive words are displayed. Consumers at home can experience the lights via a 360 virtual tour. A pop-up on Carnaby Street will raise charity funds over the festive period.

Mattel Christmas grotto

Mattel has tied up with toy shop chain The Entertainer to create an online grotto experience for children this Christmas. For the “VIP virtual meet and greet”, consumers will use Zoom to meet Santa and have the chance to win Mattel toys. Some spots have been reserved for The Salvation Army charity, with the remaining places available to be won as prizes by the public.

John Lewis Partnership hosts virtual events

John Lewis Partnership will be hosting more than 100 Christmas-themed virtual events. Between now and 23 December, consumers are able to attend make-up masterclasses, receive fashion advice, get tips on how to prepare a Christmas feast and wrap like an expert. There will also be a selection of dedicated children's courses from Waitrose Cookery School.

St Pancras International “Tree of hope”

St Pancras International has teamed up with cafe brand EL&N on a 2020 “Tree of hope” that celebrates NHS staff and key workers. The 34-feet-high, pink tree features a carousel at its base. It is decorated with 1,200 metres of ribbon that features quotes from team members who work at Imperial College Healthcare, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Ambulance Service and Royal Mail.

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